Cristhian Bahena rivera's lawyers suggested that Tibbetts' 2018 stabbing death was possibly caused by Gavin Jones or Dalton Hansen. This week's court filings revealed that they were naming Gavin Jones and Dalton Hansen.
After Arne Maki, a prisoner inmate, came forward to claim that Jones had told him that Jones and Hansen had killed Tibbetts in May after Tibbetts was kidnapped from her home and briefly held in sex trafficking homes. Jones' ex-girlfriend, who was 21 at the time, came forward to claim that Jones had also claimed that he had killed Tibbetts.
On Thursday, a prosecutor stated in court that there is "zero" evidence supporting Jones' confessions and that Tibbetts should not be doubted that Bahena Rivera murdered Tibbetts.
Jones and Hansen were reached separately by telephone by The Associated Press on Friday. They said that they had not been involved in Tibbetts’ disappearance from Brooklyn, 50 miles (80 km) west of Iowa City. Although they had not spoken to investigators, they said that they were keen to in order to clear their name.
"The cops have not talked to me. Nobody has spoken to me. Jones, from Oskaloosa, said Jones that you are the first to call me. "I was not involved in any. I have everything and alibis. I just need someone to talk to me.
He ended the interview by not answering whether he had previously made statements about Tibbetts’ death.
Hansen, Sigourney's 24-year-old, stated that Tibbetts' murder allegations are "crazy" online.
Hansen stated, "I don't know why my name was brought up with this."
After a two week trial, jurors convicted Bahena rivera in May. Prosecutors argued that Tibbetts was approached and stalked by the 27-year old farmhand while she was running for her evening run. After she threatened to call the police, he killed her and then dumped her body into a cornfield.
Bahena Rivera stated in courtroom testimony that two masked men entered his trailer and forced him into driving them around at gunpoint. He claimed they arrived at Tibbetts and one of them killed her. The other man then loaded Tibbetts' body into his car's trunk and instructed him to dispose it.
Later that day, Maki and Jones' ex girlfriend came forward to tell authorities about Jones alleged confessions. Maki initially thought they were mere bluster, until Bahena Rivera's testimony.
The defense claims that their testimony could have altered the guilty verdict. Judge Joel Yates consented to defer Bahena Rivera’s sentencing until he considered whether to order a fresh trial.
Friday's defense request for prosecutors to hand over information regarding prior sex trafficking investigations within the region was denied by Yates. He stated that it would only be a fishing expedition.
Hansen stated that Jones and he grew up in the same small town of Sigourney, and they were close friends until about two years ago. He claimed that Jones was also housed in the Keokuk County Jail at the same time, but didn't know Maki well.
Hansen and Jones said they had never heard of Jones, a 50 year-old man defense lawyers suggested might have been involved in the case.
Bahena Rivera lawyer Chad Frese stated that he was not surprised by the denials. He also noted that Jones, Hansen and other violent criminal records.
He said, "They won't stand up and claim they did it."